Separate and Unequal: Is State’s Support to Elite Universities a Human Rights Violation

By Ahmed E Souaiaia* Abstract: On May 11, 2019, the US federal government indicted 50 individuals, charging them with bribery and fraud in a widespread college admission scandal involving wealthy parents, coaches, administrators, and business executives, paying bribes to buy their children’s way into the nation’s elite schools. For weeks thereafter, the public discourse had […]

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On Migration and the Hoarding of Resources

By Ahmed E Souaiaia* David Frum’s cover story, callously titled, How Much Immigration Is Too Much, is an illustrative example of crude opinions rooted in alternative facts David Frum’s basic argument is this: The Global South is a shithole, from where all people, especially the “strivers” want to escape to the developed world. The developed […]

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What is the difference between “Muslim” and “Islamic”?

by Ahmed E. Souaiaia * Abstract: Social labels and categories are exercise in control. They describe opponents, create boundaries, exclude social groups, justify discrimination, and promote persecution. They are imbued with sociopolitical power. Muslims used labels, internally for the first time, during the formative period of the community to privilege the elite and marginalize dissenters. […]

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Saudi and Qatari dilemma: Can they support al-Sisi in his war on ISIL and support ISIL in its war on Assad?

by Ahmed E. Souaiaia*   GCC   When Prince Salman became King Salman, world leaders wanted to know about the man now controlling the country that exports more oil than any other, Saudi Arabia. Several leading publications claimed that the 79 year old king suffers from serious chronic illnesses. The Economistproposed that his predecessor, King […]

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“This is What the Arab Spring Looks Like”

Tunisia’s transition to representative governance brings hope to Arab Societies by Ahmed E. Souaiaia*   Four days after the fourth anniversary of the spark that ignited the fury of protests widely known as the Arab Spring, Tunisian voters reminded the world about what the Arab Spring is supposed to look like. The election of a […]

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Iran’s emerging institutional power and its effect on negotiations with the United States

by Ahmed E. Souaiaia*   On the eve of the Republicans’ takeover of the U.S. Senate and increased control of the House, the Wall Street Journal revealed, on the authority of anonymous sources, that President Obama had sent “secret letter” to the leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Iran took its time confirming it […]

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ISIL cannot be defeated militarily without addressing the roots of its genocidal creed and confronting its sectarian backers

by Ahmed E. Souaiaia* Less than a year after the start of the crisis in Syria, I warned that militarizing the Syrian uprising is a dangerous step. Picking sides and arming them would amount to  launching a new proxy-war similar to the one that took place in Afghanistan in the 1970’s and 1980’s. The danger, […]

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The paradoxical nature of religious and ethnic states and the genocidal impulses

by Ahmed E. Souaiaia* The Arab Spring that freed some of the peoples of the Middle East from state imposed fear produced an existential challenge for increasingly heterogeneous communities, forcing people to define the nature of the state and the character of the country where they live. It is true that self-rule and self-determination require […]

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To preview Syria’s future, consider Algeria today

by Ahmed E. Souaiaia*   Algeria was destined to become an African powerhouse. The largest country in the continent, it is populated by only 39 million people but endowed with huge natural resources: 159 trillion cubic feet (tcf) and 12.2 billion barrels of proven natural gas and oil reserves, respectively, and vast expanses of land, […]

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Worried for their own security, the rulers of Saudi Arabia expand their own list of “terror organizations” and criminalize dissent

by Ahmed E. Souaiaia*   8 years in prison for tweeting in support of a demonstration Days after recalling its top diplomats from Qatar, Saudi Arabia published a list of organizations and activities that are deemed criminal and prohibited Saudi citizens and residents from joining or supporting such organizations. The two events might appear to […]

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Tunisia’s Ennahda movement, perhaps learning from the crises of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and AKP in Turkey, compromises to remain relevant

by Ahmed E. Souaiaia*   On January 14, Tunisians will celebrate their revolution, which ignited a wave of protest that swept most of the Arab world. For this third anniversary, the Salvation Front, representing key leaders from political parties and civil society, gave the Tunisian people and the Arab masses a set of rare gifts: […]

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Syria’s rebels’ premature harvest and the moral crisis of militarism

by Ahmed E. Souaiaia*   ISIS fighters executing a civilian     On November 14, 2013, Abd al-Kader al-Saleh, commander of the powerful Tawhid Brigades, died. He was injured in an earlier airstrike that killed several of his group’s top leaders. In a matter of days, al-Tawhid Brigades—one of the armed wings of the Muslim […]

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The disintegration of Syria’s so-called “moderate” opposition forces and the prospects of a divided Syria

by Ahmed E. Souaiaia*   Future of Syria: not bringing this crisis under control now could divide Syria along ethnic and sectarian fault lines.   Since 2012, many observers and scholars familiar with the Syrian crisis have advised against arming Syrian rebels and warned about the risks of turning that country into a powder keg, […]

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Why are the rulers of Saudi Arabia losing their cool?

The Umayyad Syndrome by Ahmed E. Souaiaia*   For more than seventy years, Saudi Arabia has cultivated the image of a state run by level-headed, moderate, wise, deliberate, and cool-headed leaders. Publicly, its diplomats gave the impression that the Kingdom would chose dialogue over confrontation, moderation over extremism, and reconciliation over antagonism. Wikileaks unveiled the […]

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Arab Spring 2.0: Why did Morsi lose the presidency and how did the Muslim Brotherhood lose a revolution?

by Ahmed E. Souaiaia*   Gruesome killings of Egyptian Shi`as contributed to Morsi’s fall Many Arabs, thirsty for real change, look at the events of the Arab Spring positively. Liberal, secular, conservative, and ultraconservative groups and individuals in the countries transformed by the Arab Spring who supported the overthrow of the old guard agree that […]

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Narratives of War in Islamic Societies–Whose side is God on?

Whose side is God on? by Ahmed E. Souaiaia* Abstract: The so-called Arab Spring ushered in a new era of conflict that is transforming Islamic societies in unprecedented ways. In the past two years, peaceful protests ousted some of the most ruthless dictators of the Arab world. Then, violent rebellions destroyed communities in Libya and […]

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On the need to balance endowments and academic integrity

by Ahmed E. Souaiaia* The article in The Atlantic, The Emir of NYU (MAR 13, 2013), touched on a very important issue: academic integrity. It came on the heels of the no-confidence vote NYU’s faculty in the College of Arts and Science delivered against the president, John Sexton. Sexton is renowned for creating satellite research […]

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The origins and evolution of the Grinch that derailed the Arab Spring

The Pakistanization  of Turkey and the Afghanization of Syria in the new proxy-war   by Ahmed E. Souaiaia*   Witnessing the first democratic elections in Tunisia in 2011, I stood at the edge of the city listening to residents explaining the role of “neighborhood watch committees” in keeping peace and protecting personal and public property. […]

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Why do Arab rulers want a ceasefire in Gaza but not in Syria?

  by Ahmed E. Souaiaia*   Deconstructing cruelty in Arab societies On average, over one hundred people, many of whom are civilians, have died every day in Syria for the past 20 months. The Syrian government says that it is fighting terrorists financed by Arab rulers and the Turkish Islamist government. The rebels say they […]

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Why is the U.S.-Islamic world relation so fragile?

by Ahmed E. Souaiaia* Muslims around the world President Obama offered renewed hope when he promised to usher in an era of mutual respect with the Islamic world. To jumpstart this new era, President Obama addressed Muslims in two key speeches: one delivered in Turkey, the last seat of the Sunni Islamic caliphate, and the […]

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Can non-violent resistance and armed rebellion co-exist?

  by Ahmed E. Souaiaia* With two superpowers emphatically vetoing three UNSC resolutions on three different occasions, the world could not be more divided about the Syrian crisis. World leaders are nonetheless united in their rhetoric supporting peaceful protest. The Syrian crisis, however, revealed troubling contradictions in the position taken by key countries. For example, […]

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